The Howling Hex

updates & corrections

Sunday, February 05, 2006

mechanic on retainer

Once I got a phone message telling me to be at a radio station on a Sunday afternoon in the summer. I drove out there and was met by this guy, guy #1. The parking lot was empty, the offices were empty, and the studios were empty. As guy #1 escorted me into the place and down its halls I looked around and saw that it was outfitted with excellent equipment, that it had a tower out back and a dish. We go into a studio and I sit in front of the mic and we do a long interview. Guy #1 never seems to switch on a tape or gives any kind of signal to any kind of engineer; no signal is ever given to us. He does not even put on headphones. We do the interview and leave.

Two years later, when I'm playing at this bar I see guy #1 with girl #1. I have accidentally met his gaze so I wave but guy #1 doesn't acknowledge me.

One year later, I'm sent up to a residence on Central Park in New York to film some scenes on the edge of a stone parapet. I'm going to dress in a black body suit and crawl around at the top of a tall building. The photographer answers the door, it is girl #1. We go up and do the bits. We shoot for about 4 hours and not once does she stop to change film.

That same year I'm in St.Louis and after the show guy #1 talks to me while I'm packing up my equipment. He says he flew in from Sault Saint Marie (?!) just for the show. I thank him for taking the time and I say: "I hope you enjoyed the show."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hanover in Ossibh

Coughlin had always intended-- expected and welcomed, frankly, for his mistress, Josette Neuar, to sing the leading role. She was a "DMA" which for some meant Dramatic Mistress-Soprano. The poet was abhorrent about it-- she was terrible.

And yet the poet curiously—and mysteriously—claimed the work was about specific events in Ms. Neuar's life. That was a short-term strategy. There was also the strategy of making it clear, if she were to sing the role-- the short-term strategy dealing with her singing before it came to hurt the opera, he meant, before it materialized.

Ultimately the poet refused to let her sing because there were other sponsorers willing to back the work. He opted instead for the Welsh soprano Merwyn Gar. For this slight, Coughlin disparaged the opera and took part in plans to ruin the opening night. The sabotage was a failure. Neuar was disgraced and never performed again.

One wonders how Josette Neuar might have fared with the poet's role for her. Years later when Arnold Brill finally met the aged Neuar he said: "I am proud to shake the hand of this brave soul who had her hands cut off by opera."

One of the reasons the work still isn't staged often is because it makes enormous demands on the lead character, requiring her to sing almost non-stop for two hours, and throughout a very broad range. Maybe the time is right for a re-examination of this work. In a changing world, we want more singers to have control over your own life

Monday, October 31, 2005


They made us do it- to each other we ever encountered. After the first

senses divided and went home. Nuts and talc were all that mattered to

heads of boards in the days that followed up. Noticing where memory

recovered nightly, gave me an idea of what needed to be explained in
pictograms. Hope is poured for sealment of the deals. Help is
measured by

it's overbite's reach.

Clavicle ocularity meets with periodic inclusion whenever we want it

enough. Well, do we go that far?

Friday, October 21, 2005

something in there

It is part of how I learned to love CHIC.

80s materialism really turned me off but I bought Chic and after all these years I still have my original copies. Over these many hundred weeks I have listened every couple dozen months or so to hear if I still don't understand.

Something this way came, and i was finally able to comprehend the ease of CHIC and will no longer disrespect CHIC.

I stuck with it. I stayed up on it and I am much the better person for having done so. It is good to "walk a mile" in the ruby slippers or static-free clogs of another. How else could one ever understand the pain of a tight shoe or broken heel?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Cop: Have you considered our offer?

Eddie: What do I know about Arabia?

Cop: You know gangs and tribes. You know deals. We’ll teach you the rest. Unless you want to go back to prison...

Eddie: I don’t trust you. You’re after something big over there and you need me to get it.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


I Hope for U SO much and feel so eaegr FOR U fel I canot WATE taht teh exp3ctation on3e more 2 c ur faec agane macks me fel F3V3RISH and mah haart bats so fast-- I go 2 slep at night and teh first THNG I KNOW IM SITNG THEYRE WIED AWAEK CASPNG MAH HANDS TIGHTLY AND THINKNG OF U11!!!!1!???

OMG most honors mah styla who learns under it 2MOST D3STROY teh da nuh BGINNG INHARENT IN BIRTH can maek itsalf falt in da workd only B/C DA n3wcomar pos3ses teh CAPACITY OF BGINNG SOMETHNG AENW TAHT IS OF ACTNG!!!!111 LOL

Is this s3nsa OF INITIATIEV an alement of action?

THEIR NATALITY IS INHARENT IN AL HUMAN ACTIVITEIS11!!1!! OMG LOL MORAOV3R SINCE action is teh poltical activity PAR EXCELANCE natality and not morality may b teh central CAETGORY OF POLITICAL as distinguished from metaphysical THOUGHT.

Friday, August 05, 2005

the big time

Little Phil Alguin was a three-time loser discharged for time served in California. Little Phil had a long rap sheet: dope pusher, addict, fence, burglar, armed robber. A month after leaving prison Alguin killed an L.A.P.D. Detective whom he believed was following him. The gangster fled to Mexico. Mexico refused to extradite. Little Phil Alguin took to the comforts of Ciudad Juarez.

Meanwhile, the El Paso Police Department stood ready to do its part to nab a cop killer. The word "kidnap" was never spoken but that was the basic strategy. They slipped into Juarez for a few days to get the lay of the land. They learned that Little Phil Alguin was sensitive about a tattoo on his right forearm: a flower emblazoned with the words Arizona Phil. Alguin had asked a few Juarez doctors if it could be removed but not one of them could manage the operation.

The cops planned to open a doctor's office in Juarez and advertise a new process for removing tattoos. When the killer dropped into the office--BAM--and then back across the International Bridge to El Paso. For veracity the cops took a quick course on hypodermics and anesthetic, bought some medical instruments for the office, a phony diploma to hang on the wall.

On Monday they rented a place in Juarez. On Tuesday they put a couple of ads in local papers and Little Phil walked through the door on Friday. Phil was administered chloroform while the stakeout cars got into position. Little Phil was groggy but not completely knocked-out. The El Paso cops stuffed the fugitive into a car and raced towards the bridge.

Little Phil was was soon wide awake and screaming that he was being kidnapped by gringos. A mob gathered to block the car. They El Paso cops were arrested and a lynch mob surrounded the jail. The Juarez press demanded the prisoners' execution.

El Paso Mayor Charlie Davis immediately appealed to the United States' Congress, the Governor of Texas, and Army Chief of Staff General John J. Hines. American troops moved down to the Mexican border.

Mexico relented and the El Paso cops were released after three days in jail. Little Phil Alguin was eventually extradited and tried for the murder of the Los Angeles detective. Convicted in 1923 and given a life sentence, Little Phil was paroled in 1953. He disappeared into Mexico and was never heard from again.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Eh, not too bad. Here are a few corrections noted and sent in from the first edition of "Public Works" by Neil Hagerty (Drag City Books):

Page 94, Line 23:

"Ware all that is left...

should read:

"We're all that is left...

although, to be honest, "Ware" seems allowable given the context.

Page 140, Line 27:

...running around." I said.

should read:

...running around," I said.

more to come...

Monday, June 20, 2005


12 chairs in a horseshoe pattern.

Paranoccio: Where's the King? Are the rest of you staring at me? What do they have? What do they do? When I am doing nothing or worse are they just sailing through? Everyday this torment mounts my soul. I cannot help but think that they are trying to gain control. I really have to know-- for if I can't the possibilities which could unfold...

Oblesse: Wonderful-- and I mean that. Take your seat and rest.

Paranoccio: I'm afraid that isn't possible but I'll try my best.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

no winners

I'll have the last laugh, at the foot of your grave.
He who laughs last will leave you there alone, laughing.
You will never see the end of your plans.
Who is right?
This is the test: He who laughs last, laughs best.

My friend, I won't desert you.
I will be by your graveside, as you stood idly by my side
when I was choking, beaten down.
You laughed at me then. But this is the final test:
He who laughs last, laughs best.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

X2 cobra

She said she saw him in the newspaper. Dreams of the river and the day they'd swim. Promised to return in the way of light. It occupies her time even at midday.

He saw a woman dressing in front of a mirror when he was young. In his thoughts he saw many dresses to cover her. He covered his eyes but slowly.

He's in a work camp now. Strike was broken. They ran pictures of it in the newspaper. He remembers back to that day with the woman and the mirror.

He steals some sheets to make a dress and a shawl. He sneaks out of the camp with the wives on visiting day. But he can't take the dress off now from shame.

He's a free agent, he travels along in his dress aiding striking workers across the country. She waits for him to return.

He dangles from a girder on an electrical tower. His shawl whips sideways in the wind. He's wearing a mask, a mask representing a mouse.

Why is he wearing the mask? We already know he wears a dress, that's in the premise.

Why is he hanging from that tower? Is he in another scrape with the boss man?

Perhaps he's depressed from the shame of sneaking out of the work camp in a dress?

Will he ever get back home to her?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

wardrobe fatalism

Sweat Pants, White Shirt over Baked Beans Tee

Black Pants, Donkey Tee over Long-Sleeved Thermal

Black Pants, Red Shirt over Donkey Tee

White Pants, Baked Beans Tee, Black Jacket

Sweat Pants, Red Shirt

Black Pants, Black Jacket

White Pants, White Shirt

White Pants, Baked Beans Tee over Long-Sleeved Thermal

Sweat Pants, Donkey Tee, Black Jacket

Black Pants, White Shirt

White Pants, Red Shirt over Baked Beans Tee

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

seize the day

This is getting strange. I heard that Saul Bellow died and I'm reading "Herzog" right now. Needless to say he was one of my favorites. But a few weeks ago I was reading "The American Commonplace" by/about Robert Creeley and then he died. I can only hope that Elmore Leonard has the best medical care available and looks both ways at intersections.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I heard that Robert Creeley died and I was sad about it because I have a lot of his books and I like them.

If you walk a certain route everyday that takes you past a stone wall and a chain link fence you might see markings, paint and scrapes come and go on the stone, and see weeds that grow up into the links of the fence.

Weeks, months go by and the marks on the stones change, the weeds get cut, trash builds up along the fence line. Sometimes you notice interesting patterns in the scrapes and in the pieces of weeds and trash.

Weeks, months go by, you notice that certain groups of patterns recur, almost like they are being put there with intention, although it doesn't strike you as too unlikely that you might think that and really you are trying to find patterns. Nature has a way of making interesting designs like that.

Weeks and months continue to go by and one day you take your route early and you happen to see a person walking away, putting scraping tools, paint and knives into their coat . You conclude that, yes, in fact, someone is marking those certain patterns where you have been looking

As you get closer to the area it still looks just natural but the same patterns are there again fresh, certain piles of paper, a piece of cardboard smacked against the fence, scrapes in the stone, paint chips, ribbons in the fence, a little mark on the stone that looks like writing.

That is like how Mr. Creeley's poetry felt and it meant a lot to me.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Four One

I cannot accept, and you cannot accept, complicity in this sad event. It’s meth, I’m sorry, and we must follow the pipeline to wretched financiers. Forty tons a month, it adds up and needs organization and some discipline. Seize a million pounds, if you want to absorb the atmosphere one breath at a time. Tasted France and Spanish, asked around, rolled like De Soto back through your hometown.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Five Three

Legal immigrants, handicapped beauty, a suffering cop, mother off the roles, a dog for the blind, athletic heroes, an assault victim, child care workers, tribal refugee,

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Three Two

This operation, given with consent, performed upon us in the hopes that we might sleep and not sense, inflames nerve endings. Acutely aware of neurogenic inflammation, the origin of which distorts recognition of the origin, a scream seems like a pleasant dream cherished anxiously through seven days awake.